China has called on India to ease border tensions between the two countries, following the Indian government’s decision to send 50.000 more troops to the disputed borders with Chinaextending its total deployment to roughly 200.000.
Over the past few months, India had already moved troops and fighter jet squadrons to three distinct areas along its border with China, according to a Bloomberg report. The increased number of troops gives Indian army more options to attack and seize territory in China,if necessary, said the report which came only three days after a meeting on border control between the two countries.
Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said the border situation was generally stable and the two sides were resolving the issue through talks.But in a veiled criticism of India’s fresh deployment, Wang also said that “the words and deeds of the two countries should be aiming at cooling the situation and promoting mutual trust, not the reverse.” according to China’s foreign ministry.
In a recent meeting, according to according to China’s foreign ministry, Chinese and Indian officials agreed to “consolidate disengagement results and properly resolve the remaining issues in the western part of the border”. They also agreed to maintain high-level communication and prepare for a 12thround of talks between military officials.
Yet India remains sceptical of China’s de-escalation effort, with Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar saying that China’s close-up deployment still continues, especially in Ladakh where both countries clashed last year, resulting in the death of at least 20 Indian and 4 Chinese troops.
At the same time, both countries have rolled out more infrastructure in the region, according to media reports. The Times of India reported earlier this month that New Delhi was pressing on with infrastructure in the border area, building roads, tunnels and bridges to narrow the gap with China.
On the Chinese side, a new high-speed railway line began operating in Tibet, taking passengers from the regional capital Lhasa to the eastern city of Nyingchi, close to the border. Butaccording to Chinese analysts of Sino-Indian relations the build-up of infrastructure and extra troop deployments were unlikely to add significantly to the ongoing tensions.
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Sinologist and Chief Analyst on Chinese Affairs at Nato Defense College Foundation. Foreign affairs writer for international magazines and publications.